Originally A Blog

but think it fits better here....

The Funeral

It started with the viewing on Sunday evening.

Several friends turned out and shared their condolences. There was a photo slide that people watched that showed my grandfather from his childhood to the last weeks of his life. People moved in through the room, children (my mom and her brothers and sister) welcoming people in and tears are being shed, hugs are given from both sides. Then people moved to grandma who stood by grandpa the whole time. She was tired and worn out from the last weeks with my grandpa and now with the funeral.

Grandpa's casket fit him very well, the hunter green to gray shades with bronze accents of pine trees and bridges. With my grandpa being the horseman, cattleman, who loved the outdoors and family.

I looked at him and he didn't look like the man I knew, I knew it was him but he had deteriorated from the cancer and kemo. It had hollowed him out. I could only ask them how they are doing and try to get them to let me take on some of the grief to add to mine. I could not tell them things would be okay since we all shared the same views on life and death.

Just to share in the moment and be there for us all to grieve and talked about how he was and the good times, the funny stories, the heart felt stories, knowing of the man.

Talked to my brother and cousins who were at different levels of grief. All of us who shared time with him and had so many memories of him, some together and some alone.

The viewing ended and we went to grandmas house for something to eat, don't know why they had ham, grandma doesn't like ham and everyone else got tired of eating it.

The next day Monday, went to the church to have a finial viewing and was there for the family prayer. Then they said "Who ever wanted to do a finial walk by the casket, please feel free to do so." I waited for the family to walk by first but they couldn't do it, grandma almost collapsed when she tried to go to the casket for the last time. So being the oldest grandson I went and was able to share my thoughts with my grandpa and tell him goodbye and that I loved him.

Moved on to where the rest of the family was and others came up and held his arm and looked down on him for the last time and shared their thoughts what was going through their minds to have closure for them.

The casket was closed and moved to the chapel.

The service was a simple one. His children talked and shared parts of his life, some thing we knew about other we did not. He has sisters that he did not know cause they died from a flu epidemic before he was born, his family did not have a lot of money in fact he was eight years old before he had underwear to wear of course they did not worry much about that back then.

My grandmother's father was instrumental in getting them married since my grandfather worked for my great grandfather at one point. When they got married they moved into a house that was one of the first houses built in the area and that is where they lived even to the present.

He was always close to horses and had a few in his life which he rode until he was 80, on the cattle drives and the being in the mountains with his horse, my mom also got into riding horses and the both of them were in the posse, where they would ride in the rodeos and parades.

My grandfather who did not have a fancy college degree but had lots of common sense was able to build things that they needed. Example: He needed a way to get the horses up into the mountains so one day at church with a napkin he sat down and designed what would be the first motor home or RV that we knew of. He took a sixty six passenger bus and right behind the rear wheels dropped the floor down and made three stalls so that the horses would have separation between then and have food and water on their ride to the mountains, then from the wheels forward he put in a closet space and bunk beds, there was a fold out table where they could sit down and eat, then when they were done for the day the table would fold away and then a cot could be unfolded for the space. There was a sink and a full sized wood cooking stove along with a water jacket type thing for water to be heated for the washing of dishes as well as a pantry area where food was kept and prepared. It was quite the sight to see driving down the road with a smoke stack coming out the top and horses in the back.

He built a successful business from a NAPA auto parts store and was more concerned with the customers than with the amount of money made. On more than one occasion there was someone broke down on the highway and needed a part for the car, they would call the house and grandpa would go in get them their part. It was about taking care of the customer something that businesses and people have moved away from today.

He was truthful in every aspect of his life, when he sold the business there was an accounting error where they got more money out of the sale than what was theirs, they could have kept the money from the new owner of the business but he was truthful about the business and gave the money back to the new owner of the store so that it was fair. He did not keep things that were not his and made sure his stuff was returned.

I will miss my grandpa even though as I grew up and moved away I still called him on our day which was our birthday that we shared to make sure he was doing fine and to with him a happy birthday. I learned a lot from my grandpa and I will miss him.

From the back of the program of his funeral.

" He is gone

You can shed some tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heat can be empty because you can't see him

Or you can be full of the love that you shared.

You can turn back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be Happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close you mind, be empty and turn your back,

Or you can do what he would want:

Smile, open you eyes,

Love and go on.

By David Harkins

I will miss him yes but I will also take what he has taught me and put it to use in my life and love my family and try to continue to teach them the things that I have been taught. To love him even though he is gone and be happy that he lived and not sad that he has moved on to a better place.

Thanks for reading and learning a bit about a example and hero of mine.

mtvlm mtvlm
41-45, M
5 Responses Jul 18, 2010

He is very proud of all of his family.... Thank you dear sweet Pix..... ;-))

You are his legacy..... what could he be prouder of!!!!! :-)

Thanks dear sweet Pix.... He did try to teach all of us grandkids something about life and values. Glad that some of them have stuck with me....<br />
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((((((( BIG BEAR HUGS )))))))))))) my dear sweet Pix......

It's so sad that he is gone but he has left such an impact on those around him....just reading your story says what an impression he made on your life!! What a strong, ingenious, admirable man he was!!!!! From his ingenious ideas to his caring about customers above the mighty dollar.....he made you proud and you seem to have alot of his wonderful qualities! He'd be very proud of that!!!!!!!! :-)

Thanks Angel....